The Panthers may be moving on from Cam Newton. On Tuesday, the club announced that they have granted their star quarterback permission to seek a trade.
“One of the distinct pleasures of my career was selecting Cam with the first pick in the 2011 draft,” GM Marty Hurney said in a statement. “Every year difficult decisions are made and they are never easy. We have been working with Cam and his agent to find the best fit for him moving forward and he will always be a Carolina Panther in our hearts.”
Newton, 31 in May, captured the NFL’s MVP trophy in 2015 and led the team to the Super Bowl. He also owns just about every franchise record for QBs.
Unfortunately, injuries have taken his career in a different direction as of late. The three-time Pro Bowler has gone under the knife multiple times, including surgeries to his throwing shoulder and left foot.
Newton may have lost some of his luster, but he should still hold appeal for teams in need of QB help. He’s slated to make just $18.6MM this season, making him a fairly affordable bridge option.
Any interested clubs will want to take a close look at his aforementioned maladies. At last check, we heard that Newton could ready to throw sometime this month, though the Panthers were planning to be cautious with him and delay some of his work until later in the spring.
Meanwhile, the Panthers are showing very strong interest in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, sources tell Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter). They’ll have competition for Teddy Two-Gloves, however – the Bears have shown interest (though they seem ready to pivot towards other passers) and the Bucs also see him as a strong fallback if they’re unable to land Tom Brady.
If the Panthers don’t go for Bridgewater, or another one of this year’s high-profile free agent QBs, they could consider a passer in the first round of the draft. The Panthers own the No. 7 overall pick, putting them in good position for most of this year’s top signal callers.